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Control and Surveillance of Human African Trypanosomiasis

Report of a WHO Expert Committee

Control and Surveillance of Human African Trypanosomiasis by WHO
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This report provides information about new diagnostic approaches new therapeutic regimens and better understanding of the distribution of the disease with high-quality mapping. The roles of human and animal reservoirs and the tsetse fly vectors that transmit the parasites are emphasized. The new information has formed the basis for an integrated strategy with which it is hoped that elimination of HAT will be achieved. The report also contains recommendations on the approaches that will lead to elimination of the disease. Human African Tryponosomiasis (HAT) is a disease that afflicts populations in rural Africa where the tsetse fly vector that transmits the causative trypanosome parasites thrives. There are two forms of HAT: one known as gambiense HAT is endemic in West and Central Africa and causes over 95% of current cases; the other known as rhodesiense HAT is endemic in East and southern Africa and accounts for the remainder of cases. The presence of parasites in the brain leads to progressive neurological breakdown. Changes to sleep-wake patterns are among the symptoms that characterize the disease also known as sleeping sickness . Eventually patients fall into a coma and die if not treated. Different treatments are available against parasites present in the haemolymphatic system (first stage) and those that have entered the brain (second stage). Currently lumbar puncture is required to select the appropriate drug.
World Health Organization; November 2013
249 pages; ISBN 9789240691728
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Title: Control and Surveillance of Human African Trypanosomiasis
Author: WHO